Artist Roberto Lugo – potter, painter, social activist and poet – brings his joy to the Currier Museum

Ceramicist celebrates his Afro-Latino heritage in a new exhibition.

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Artist Roberto Lugo Photo by Neal Santos, courtesy of Wexler Gallery.

MANCHESTER, NH – The Currier Museum of Art is proud to open an exhibition by artist Roberto Lugo. New works explore the artist’s cultural identity as tied to family, place, and legacy.

Lugo pays homage to his Puerto Rican heritage with the exhibition’s title, “Te traigo mi le lo lai – I bring you my joy.” The exhibition celebrates the joy of creating within a family and community. Inspired both by his family’s agricultural heritage and his own youth in Philadelphia’s Kensington neighborhood, Lugo examines the core ideals of resourcefulness and self-sufficiency shared by those living in both rural and urban settings. Lugo also recognized these qualities in Manchester, a postindustrial city in a largely rural state.

Roberto Lugo is a Philadelphia-based potter, painter, social activist, spoken word poet, and educator. Calling himself the “ghetto potter,” Lugo creates ceramics that subvert traditional forms and techniques by reimagining them with a 21st-century street sensibility inspired by urban graffiti and hip-hop culture. For his exhibition at the Currier Museum, Lugo chose to display his art in conversation with objects from the museum’s collection that speak to traditional art-making in this region.

“The Currier Museum has a long history of collecting and displaying studio ceramics, and Roberto Lugo is undoubtedly one of the most significant voices working today,” says Samantha Cataldo, the museum’s curator of contemporary art. “We are honored to partner with Roberto on this highly personal exhibition for which he has not only made new work but also included objects from his early career and objects made by his family. We are excited for the public to experience this unique installation and find their own connections to these important themes of community, value, and legacy.”

Roberto Lugo will give a virtual talk on Tuesday, May 11 at 5 pm. The talk is free and open to the public; register at currier.org. Lugo will be in residence at the Currier Museum with fellow ceramicist Margaret Kinkeade in July, when the pair will lead ceramics workshops with the community. More information on this will be announced. In-gallery interpretation for Te traigo mi le lo lai – I bring you my joy” will be provided in both Spanish and English.

About Roberto Lugo

Roberto Lugo (b. 1981) holds a BFA from the Kansas City Art Institute and an MFA from Pennsylvania State University. His work has been exhibited globally and is in the collections of museums throughout the United States. He has recently received a 2019 Pew Fellowship, the Cynthia Hazen Polsky and Leon Polsky Rome Prize, and a US Artist Award. He is currently an Assistant Professor of Ceramics at the Tyler School of Art and Architecture. Lugo is represented by Wexler Gallery, Philadelphia. See more at robertolugostudio.com.

About the Currier Museum of Art

The Currier Museum is an internationally renowned art museum located in Manchester, New Hampshire. The museum features paintings, sculpture, decorative arts, and photographs, including works by Monet, Picasso, O’Keeffe, Hopper, and Wyeth. It presents exhibitions, tours, art classes, and community programs year-round. Two houses designed by Frank Lloyd Wright are part of its permanent collection.